Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.

Why tax crimes are often difficult to prosecute

For individuals facing criminal charges related to tax crimes, the burden of proving those crimes is often a difficult and arduous task for prosecutors. This point is illustrated by a recent case involving a doctor who is accused of failing to pay roughly $1.3 million in federal income taxes.

According to court documents, the 70-year-old anesthesiologist is accused by federal prosecutors of failing to pay income taxes over a 10 year period to the tune of $1.3 million dollars. The man is currently facing six criminal charges related to tax evasion and could spend five years behind bars if convicted. The man, however, recently plead not guilty to the charges, putting the burden of proving otherwise solely upon the prosecutors.

Prosecutors in the case contend the man used at least three separate bank accounts set up in his deceased father's name to funnel and hide assets. Additionally, prosecutors in the case assert the doctor established a church-based charity which he also then used to hide income and assets.

Speaking in his client's defense, the doctor's attorney spoke of how his client was the victim of unscrupulous financial advice by two certified public accountants. These accountants, the attorney asserted, provided the doctor with poor tax advice.

As with all criminal defense matters, those individuals accused of tax crimes are presumed innocent. As such, it's the responsibility of prosecutors to produce factual, compelling and undisputable evidence pertaining to a defendant's guilt. In many cases, such evidence does not exist. Even in cases where evidence is overwhelmingly condemning, a criminal defense attorney who has experience defending against tax crimes can often provide for the best possible legal outcome.

Source: Amarillo Globe News, "Amarillo doc's $1.3 milion income tax evasion trial starts," Jim McBride, Sep. 10, 2013

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